Skip to comments.Ave Maria University Commencement Speaker Rips Notre Dame, Obama ( Hooray! )
Posted on 05/09/2009 3:03:33 PM PDT by kellynla
Reading from the Book of Matthew, the Rev. Robert Garrity welcomed students, family and friends to Ave Maria Universitys fifth annual commencement exercises.
You are the salt of the earth you are the light of the world, he told them Saturday in the schools ornate Oratory.
The 114 students who received degrees Saturday marked the largest graduating class in the schools short history in Collier County.
Commencement speaker Dr. Thomas Hilgers, an obstetrician from Omaha who Ave Maria President Nicholas Healy described as a pioneer in gynecological practices that are line with the teachings of the Catholic Church, used his address to blast Notre Dame Universitys decision to host President Barack Obama as its own commencement speaker on May 17.
Calling Obama viciously pro-abortion, Hilgers railed against Obamas policies while likening the president to his own commencement speaker in the 1960s a young priest Hilgers said later turned out to be a denier of the Resurrection, pro-homosexuality and pro-contraception.
Obama has made available embryonic stem cell research funds, and as an obstetrician, I am in the cross-hairs of Obamas administration, said Hilgers, who received an honorary degree from the university.
Addressing the students directly, Hilgers said: Youre going to be in the group of people praise the Lord who will have the opportunity to be a part of the culture of life.
Hilgers told the graduates that their place in the culture of life was integral to their futures.
Pope John Paul II has called us all to a culture of life within a civilization of love, Hilgers said. God calls all of us to do something special, and with prayer and perseverance, you will find your calling.
Hilgers went on to say that the graduates would play a special role in Gods plan.
When God wants something done, He doesnt dispatch a legion of avenging angels He sends a baby and then He waits, Hilgers said. You are this generations babies and God has been waiting for you to be a part of the culture of life. I pray that God will always be with you.
For his part, Healy said holding the commencement exercises in the schools Oratory was especially fitting.
It signifies the importance of our faith, he said. You are well-prepared for the challenges ahead of you and from the heart of the Church, the university is proud to have played a role in your educations. You are our new leaders, and we extend our congratulations to the class of 2009.
With a light-hearted speech that drew waves of laughter on more than one occasion, faculty speaker Daniel Dentino, the vice president of student affairs and an adjunct professor of theology, told the graduates it was imperative that they cling to their faith after graduation.
The world will offer alternatives for life other than the true meaning, Dentino said. When that happens, remember that Jesus has something better for you. We love you, graduates of 2009, and we will miss you. God bless.
Miriel Thomas, valedictorian of the class of 2009, looked back on the long road she and her fellow graduates traveled to get to Saturdays ceremony.
Today marks the culmination of four years of intellectual struggles, said Thomas, who received a prolonged standing ovation for her address. I think I speak for the whole class when I say that the honor of this day truly belongs to God.
Recounting the steep learning curve she and her fellow graduates followed over the course of their educations, Thomas said: We have learned sometimes through endless trial and error how to balance our school and work lives with our spiritual and social lives. Today, we stand on the brink. The world is in pretty bad shape, and I challenge the class of 2009 to live good lives. Civilizations stand or fall because of the way men live their daily lives, and I challenge you to enter into Gods service with the whole of your being.
Ave Maria founder Tom Monaghan said the educations received by Saturdays graduates were among the finest in the world.
You are well-educated, and you dont have to take a back seat to any school, no matter how prestigious, said Monaghan, the founder of Dominos Pizza who once owned the Detroit Tigers baseball team. I urge you in life not to stay in the bleachers, but to get out onto the field.
I hope they have a football team. I hope they play Notre Dame someday. I am certain ND will lose.
What a great venue for a wholly Biblical admonition.
What a beautiful church! Just lovely.
Isn’t Tom Mohahan the guy who started Catholic Family Radio like ten years ago?
I never saw it in such a light, but the oratory sorta looks like a bishop’s hat, doesn’t it?
That would be a mitre not a hat.
Well that is certainly interesting. On May 17th I will be at Thomas Aquinas College watching my own son graduate. I wonder if anything will be said there about ND?
Good work! I hope that the fallout from the Notre Dame error will be more of the same, followed by an uptick in the enrollment of true Catholic schools at the expense of ND.
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